How To Choose the Right Low or 0% Intro APR Credit Card For You

Looking for a new credit card with a low intro APR offer? Here, we'll explain what to look for when it comes to low intro APR offers and why all low intro interest credit cards aren't the same.

What should you look for in a low or 0% intro APR credit card offer?

Purchase APR vs. balance transfer APR

Does the card offer a low introductory APR for balance transfers, new purchases or both? Some cards, for example, will offer the same low introductory APR and period for both kinds of transactions, others will have a low intro APR offer on only one kind of transaction, and some cards will have the same low intro APR for both kinds of transactions but a longer low intro APR period for one. Deciding which card is right for you can depend on your goals. Are you looking to make a big purchase, like an appliance, and pay it off over time? Or do you want to pay down existing credit card debt?

Length of the intro APR period

An important component of a low intro APR offer is how long your introductory period will last. A longer low intro APR period on new purchases or balance transfers will give you more time to pay off the new purchases or balance transfers at the low intro interest rate.

Annual fees

Pay attention to the annual fee of any new card. If the card has an annual fee, consider any other perks that come with the card, including any cash back, points, or miles earned on purchases with the card, and how much the low intro APR offer can save you in interest. Compare the annual fee against how much you think you’ll save.

Rewards and perks

While your main goal in applying for a new card might be to secure a low intro APR offer, additional perks and rewards can be a tiebreaker if you’re choosing between two similar cards. Keep in mind that you typically will not earn rewards on balance transfers.

How do you qualify for a low or 0% intro APR credit card?

To qualify for a credit card with a low introductory interest rate, you may need good to excellent credit with a history of timely payments.

How to get the most out of a low or 0% intro APR period

If you’re looking to pay down existing credit card debt, it's important to use the low intro APR period on balance transfers on your new credit card effectively. It can be good to reexamine your budget and come up with a plan for paying off debt that you transfer to the new card. For example, it could be helpful to know what payments you need to make on the new card each month to finish paying the transferred debt off by the end of the low intro APR period. Following such a plan can help you avoid higher interest charges on any unpaid portion of that debt.

Similarly, if your plan is to take advantage of a low intro purchase APR (for example, to make a big purchase like an appliance), have a solid plan for how you’ll pay the purchase balance in full before the introductory APR period ends.

Disclosure: This article is for educational purposes. It is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and is not a substitute for professional advice. It does not indicate the availability of any Citi product or service. For advice about your specific circumstances, you should consult a qualified professional.


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